There is a well known quote, spoken at this time every year that says, "today is the first page of a 365 page book. Write a good one."
I have always loved that quote...why? Because it gives those hope that the year coming will be a little easier...a little better...a little more rewarding, in one way or another. And what do we have if we don't have hope right?
As we get set to begin writing our next 365 page "book" we are overwhelmed with excitement and of course a little trepidation in chartering this unfamiliar territory. But looking back at 2018 is helping to inspire us forward.
2018 was a year of movement for Hub Town.
Now although we have been working on our plan for the microbrewery for quite some time now, 2018 was the year for finalizing funding (no simple feat we can assure you), securing our location (after MANY attempts), initiating a land-use change so that our location would be possible, and submitting our plans to the Town of Okotoks so we can finally get this brewery built! And yesterday...December 31st...we even recieved our Development Application Review back from the town. And although we now have 24 follow ups, we are one step closer.
2018 was full of more bumps than we can explain with delays, months of working with lenders and potential landlords, just to have to start all over...but also full of hope because of you.
Besides running a multitude of brewing classes, building and selling more beer and brewing merch than any year before it, meeting and working on future plans with so many local businesses, developing and tweaking new and existing recipes for release at the brewery when we open, buying our "brewery" truck - a 1950 Dodge Fargo we named Margie (yes after the lead star in the movie), finalizing a design for our brewery and rooftop patio and of course visiting umpteen breweries in Alberta, researching what we will do the same and what we will do different, we ran a Crowdfunder...and THAT crowdfunder was the proof we needed to know that YOU were ready for Hub Town.
The support you showed us was more than we could have imagined and it inspired us to drive forward through a tumultuous year where each bump seemed insurmountable.
So as we look toward 2019 from over the fence, slowly climbing into another year of significant change, we thought it might be fun to give you a little sneak peak at what we have in store...and keep in mind, the dates are tentative since there are a lot of things outside of our control. BUT, we are working HARD to reach these dates and will do our best to get us there!
- Development Permit and Building Permit approvals;
- Selection of local restaurant menus for inclusion in the brewery - we need YOUR help to choose!
- Winter Brew Day @ Supper Studio - 3 hr workshop / demo, learning how to brew BIAB method;
- Crowler Can Design - we need labels and will be running a contest for local artists to help us come up with a label design for our 32 ounce cans;
- All trades going out to bid and contractor selection.
- With permits in hand, we hope to start construction this month! Sooner would be great but we aren't in control of the approvals unfortunately.
- Valentine's Couples Brew Event - A huge hit last year, this evening event will keep you and your partner entertained learning and helping to brew a batch of craft beer while enjoying a selection of tasty foods to compliment the six beer styles you will be learning about.
- ANOTHER CHANCE to be a founder! That's right...if you missed your chance, we're giving you another one! We have 18 FOUNDERS GROWLERS up for grabs and if you purchase one of them, not only will you have access to discounted growler fills for life, your name will go on our founders wall where it will live forever!
- BREW YOUR OWN Craft Beer Workshop @ Created - for the first time we will offer you the chance to BREW YOUR OWN craft beer in our brew day class. You will walk through the brew day, brewing your own 1-gallon batch of beer using equipment that you can pre-purchase (and even have customized) so that at the end of your time with us, you'll be able to carry on with bottling and enjoying your tasty beverage right at home!
- Continue brewery buildout;
- ANOTHER CHANCE to be a founder! We still have founders stickers available and the only people that can have them are FOUNDERS! So, purchase your stickers now and we will add your name to our founders wall so the world will know YOU were a part of getting this brewery up and running!
- Set up equipment and start brewing!!!
- Finalize brewery build out;
- ANOTHER CHANCE to be a founder! You're getting another chance to be a VIP! With your purchase of a set of two VIP chips, you'll get FRONT OF THE LINE access to one of our events and of course enjoy VIP treatment. But as usual, you're also getting your names on our founders wall!
- SOFT OPENING!!! If you purchased your VIP chips during our crowdfunder, you'll be joining us for our soft opening! This is where YOU get to enjoy the FIRST tour of the brewery and taste our beer at a small opening event not open to the public;
- LOTS of brewing...we need to stock up so we don't run out when we open our doors to the public and this month we will be brewing a LOT! If we can stock up fast enough we will open on the May Long Weekend!!
- ANOTHER CHANCE to be a founder! We have 10 Founders Mugs still available and you will have a chance at them...and some will be LIFETIME mugs!
- Open for business!!!!!!
- The annual Okotoks parade - we plan to have Margie, our 1950 Dodge Fargo in the parade and we hope to see you there!
- EVENT #1 - It's grand opening time...yes we will have been open a while but on July 1st we want to celebrate a shared birthday with Canada! With beer, food, live entertainment, games and prizes, we hope this grand opening will be one to remember! No tickets will be sold for this event...we want EVERYONE there so we hope you stop by. We're taking a group photo today as well so make sure to wear your Hub Town Swag!!
- TOURS...yup, it's time to start offering tours of our brewery on a schedule. Look forward to seeing us partner up with some more of our brewery partners in the area to build a tour route in the gorgeous Alberta Foothills!
- Taste of Okotoks - of course we can't wait to be part of this annual event, giving you a chance to try our beer! You never know, maybe we'll team up with another business and bring a pairing as our tasting...you'll have to wait and see.
- EVENT #2 - TBD
- Okotoks Show n Shine - we loved participating in this event in 2018 and will definitely shine up Margie our old Dodge Fargo again for it this year.
- Chilifest - Is chili your thing? It's definitely ours and what goes well with chili...beer! We will have a special beer on tap just for this event!
- Brew Day Workshops begin again but now they will be AT THE BREWERY! Enjoy your brewing workshop with us right in our brewery...brew your own or just sit back and learn, it's up to you!
- EVENT #3 - Oktoberfest!! We are working with our friends from Germany to help create an event that feels like you're celebrating in Munich!
- EVENT #3 - Thanksgiving - we often take for granted how lucky we are to have family and friends to celebrate thanksgiving with. Hub Town wants to share the love by hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for those who need US to be the family they celebrate with! Details to follow but essentially, we will be partnering up with other local businesses to bring a dinner to the Okotoks masses, complete with all the trimmings, and we hope you join us! Want to make a difference with us? We will be looking for volunteers, food donations and you can even "donate a dinner" to help out.
- ENCHANTED OKOTOKS (hopefully) - if the Arts Council runs the Enchanted Okotoks event again in 2019 we will be front and center to show support and give Okotokians and visitors our version of the coveted Butter Beer once again! Maybe we will up the ante a bit and give a little more excitement but that's something you'll have to wait to find out!
- HALLOWEEN PARTY - Yes of course we are having a halloween party...how could we resist? Anyone who knows us, knows we revel in decorating our place to be as scary as humanly possible! The brewery will not be for the faint of heart though so plan to bring your best zombie gear because you're going to need it!
- With a few months under our belts, this is the month we plan to kickoff a new and exciting idea that will help us finally give back to our community! Still yet to be named but starting in November we will work with YOU in our community to help raise funds for YOUR cause. First we will host a launch party for you to announce to everyone you know, exactly what cause you're raising money (or other) for. You'll also announce the your fund raising beer...feel free to ask your crowd to vote on the beer they want...and during the entire month, Hub Town will donate 10% from EVERY PINT and EVERY CROWLER sold of your chosen fundraising beer, to your LOCAL cause. At the end of the month we will host your wrap up party to announce how much has been raised and to celebrate that each and every penny donated will stay right here in our amazing community.
- Light Up Okotoks - One of our favourite events of this season is the lighting of the HUGE Christmas tree in Olde Towne, Okotoks and we are thrilled to be a part of it this year! We will be the warm place you need when in between checking out all you can in Olde Towne during this awesome annual event.
- NEW local fundraiser (same as our November launch but with a new cause!)
- Christmas dinner - much like our Thanksgiving dinner, we are planning to host a Christmas dinner at the brewery...why? Because not everyone has a family to eat turkey and stuffing with and we want to be the surrogate family to those who need us! Again, hoping to partner up with local businesses to bring a full dinner to the table, we will be looking for volunteers to help pull this off. More details to come!
So, that's a list of ideas we have for 2019 but there will be more...we just can't give EVERYTHING away (don't forget we need to plan a patio party too)!
Thank you so much for your unending support in 2018...here's to an amazing 2019!!